Athletics & Recreation / News

Soccer senior is a real header in the classroom

Kari Storslett will try to win the Sun Belt conference tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Strike up a conversation with Kari Storslett, and it takes only a few moments for several observations to become strikingly clear.

First, Storslett is bright. So bright, in fact, that the explanations regarding some of her research projects from an internship last summer easily befuddle those from a non-scientific background. Secondly, it is difficult not to admire Storslett, given that the focus of what she hopes will be her future will help make the world a cleaner, greener place, And, finally, Storslett obviously is as dedicated in the classroom as she is on the soccer pitch.

Storslett, a senior physics major and a defender-midfielder on the University of Denver women’s soccer team, is only a few months removed from a summer internship at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, Colo.

“(The internship) really confirmed that energy research is what I really want to end up doing,” Storslett says.  “I was working with a really great mentor on this project that was focused on optimizing a very small part of the biomass-to-ethanol pathways. I found it really interesting and I really liked being in that kind of environment, where people are looking to come up with new technologies.”

A three-time honoree on the Sun Belt Commissioner’s Listthe highest academic recognition in the conference — Storslett gained a wealth of experience focusing on the nuances of efficiently converting raw materials into clean ethanol, yet she also took full advantage of the opportunity to observe many of the other groundbreaking research projects being undertaken at NREL. Storslett was able to tour NREL’s hydrogen laboratory and algae laboratory in addition to visiting the facility’s wind energy site.

The internship also marked the first year in which Storslett, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., did not return to her home state for the summer, which proved to be an added bonus.

“There were a whole variety of different energy research options open to me at this internship,” says Storslett, who was selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s academic all-district 7 university division first team after each of the past two seasons.

Undoubtedly, graduate school looms on the horizon for Storslett, although she has not ruled out the idea of deferring for one year in order to recharge and perhaps indulge in some traveling.

For the moment, however, Storslett is focused on helping the Pioneers to recapture the Sun Belt Conference tournament crown, an honor that almost had turned into a birthright over the past decade. DU had won seven conference tournament titles in nine years, including four in a row, before suffering a disappointing shootout loss against Middle Tennessee in the final last year, which ultimately denied the Pioneers an NCAA Tournament berth.

Storslett, one of only three seniors on the team, has provided a steady presence throughout her DU career. Primarily an outside defender, Storslett has appeared in 87 games for the Pioneers, and this season she recorded a career-best four assists.

“I know she came to DU first and foremost to get a degree and get a great education, but we have gotten 100 percent effort every single game from her,” Head Coach Jeff Hooker says. “She has always wanted to become the best student she can be. She has always wanted to be the best soccer player she can be, and she has improved every year. We can’t keep her out of the lineup now. She might have a down day, but she always bounces back. She’s a great teammate and has always been a good presence on the field.”

Visit to find out more about DU’s women’s soccer team.



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